EVERETT (Sept. 23, 2016) — A number of events are planned to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Everett Massacre and to remember the hundreds of brave workers who sailed from Seattle to Everett on Nov. 5, 1916, to support striking shingle workers and their right to free speech. Five of them never made it back after the bloodiest battle in Pacific Northwest labor history.
Among the events planned are:
Free Public Event — An Everett Massacre Centennial Commemoration sponsored by the PNLHA and the SCLC will be held Saturday, Nov. 12 from noon to 2:30 p.m. at the Milltown Sailing Association, 410 14th St. in Everett. It will include a program, entertainment and refreshments.
Commemorative Sailing — The Virginia V will sail from Seattle to Everett on Saturday, Nov. 12 with the Pacififc Northwest Labor History Association and the Snohomish County Labor Council, AFL-CIO. The $100 boarding fee includes entertainment and refreshments. Tickets are almost gone. (UPDATE — And… they’re all gone.) For more information, visit www.pnlha.org or email the PNLHA.
“Verona” screenings — Join director Denise Ohio for the premiere of “Verona: The Story of the Everett Massacre.” Using stunning historical footage, expert analysis, and compelling animation, Verona gets to the meaning behind the bloodshed: the drive to right social wrongs versus the desire for security; the acceptance of duty versus the struggle to survive — essential issues that continue to shape U.S. culture today.
The first screening will be Saturday, Nov. 5 at 1 p.m. at the Everett Public Library, 2702 Hoyt Ave. in Everett. Then on Sunday, Nov. 6, Verona will be shown at 2 p.m. and at 7 p.m. at the Historic Everett Theater, 2911 Colby Ave. Tickets ($20) are available here.
On Nov. 5, 1916, hundreds of men from the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), though not part of the AFL like the shingle weavers, felt the need to help their fellow workers get a decent wage. As they landed in Everett, they sang, “Hold the Fort for we are coming, Union hearts be strong…”
The business leaders of Everett, fearful of the IWW’s revolutionary rhetoric, had the sheriff and some 200 “deputized” and armed men confront the union men at the docks. Undeterred by hundreds of guns pointed at them, they prepared to disembark. A shot rang out from somewhere. Then another. Then chaos erupted. When the shooting stopped, five men from the IWW lay dead, as did two deputies. Many more were wounded. When the IWW members returned to Seattle, they were arrested and charged with murder, but no one was convicted and eventually all the charges were dropped.
Learn more about the Everett Massacre here.